Why facilities management is important in a school setting

November 20th, 2014 Category: Schools

Facilities management is an important aspect of managing a property – particularly when it comes to education.

Ensuring that a school meets strict minimum standards is an essential of providing a good education and adequate resources for all of those who use it.

However, when it comes to discussions about education, the conditions of the school in question and the wider role that facilities management plays in it all is often neglected.

A new report has highlighted the potential costs that could accumulate if facilities management is not given the due attention that it needs.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) published a report which found organisations that failed to adopt a more effective approach to facilities management could lose up to £1 billion.

In commercial terms, that is significant, but for a local school, such vast sums of money could be devastating.

Not only does it impact on the return on investment for that school, but it could also have a knock-on effect on the quality of the educational environment.

The worrying thing is a lack of facilities management continues to be a problem in the UK. Facilities management encompasses a broad spectrum of disciplines, including the co-ordination of people, spaces, health and safety on the premises, hygiene, plus resources and property.

Rics findings showed that over a quarter (26 per cent) of organisations in the UK are still not taking a strategic approach when it comes to managing their premises.

According to its research, those organisations using facilities management in a strategic capacity could be saving themselves as much as £120,000 on average.
Commenting on the findings outlined in the report, Johnny Dunford, global commercial property director (Rics), said: "It’s clear from our research that recognising facilities management as a strategic discipline has the ability to bring about tangible business benefits for organisations of all shapes, sizes and sectors. 
"With nearly £1 billion being wasted by those organisations without strategic facilities management in place, our research clearly demonstrates that more needs to be done to get leaders in the private and public sectors on board with the new approach."

Over 700 small and large institutions from the public sector, as well as firms from the private sector, were surveyed as part of the research.

The research found that of those who had used strategic FM, half said they were able to cut costs as a result.

For schools in particular, taking a joined-up approach to managing the premises could also improve the productivity of both staff and students.

The figures showed that of those questioned who use strategic FM, three in five (59 per cent) said their organisation had seen an increase in overall productivity.

Furthermore, the Rics study showed that taking a more proactive and collaborative approach to the management of premises and properties has major benefits for a wide range of organisations, especially those in the public sector.